The Black Keys have spoken out about Steve Miller’s critical comments regarding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the first time since they inducted the “Fly Like an Eagle” singer into the institution last Friday.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, frontman Dan Auerbach says he and drummer Pat Carney “regret” inducting Miller and were “disappointed” with the experience.
“[Miller] said, ‘The whole process was unpleasant.’ And for Pat and I, honestly, the most unpleasant part was being around him,” Auerbach says. He adds that the first thing Miller said to them was, “I can’t wait to get out of here.”
“He knew that we signed up to do this speech for him,” Auerbach continues. “And he made no effort to even…he didn’t even figure out who we were.”
In his acceptance speech, Miller criticized the Rock Hall for their lack of transparency regarding the induction process, and also called for more women to be inducted. However, he really lay into the institution during a backstage interview with reporters after the ceremony, during which he said that “the whole process needs to be changed; from the top to the bottom” before accusing the Rock Hall of trying to “steal my footage.”
“Of course there are problems in the music industry. Of course,” Auerbach tells Rolling Stone. “But we were there, unpaid, on our own free will, to come celebrate [Miller’s] achievements and spread the joy of rock & roll. To inspire kids to pick up guitars. To play music. And it felt like we were doing the opposite.”
“I just want people to know that he’s allowed to say whatever he wants, of course,” Auerbach adds of Miller. “But he does not speak for me. He does not speak for Pat.”
Auerbach also feels that Miller’s criticisms regarding the lack of women in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were “weird,” since, as he points out, “The Steve Miller band has had 35 members and no women.”
“There’s a time and a place to stand up and be angry. But when people are honoring you for how great you are, that’s not the…time or place,” Auerbach concludes. “It was the only story everyone talked about. It overshadowed [rapper] Kendrick [Lamar]’s message of positivity and it’s totally unfortunate. And I hated being a part of that. I hated the feeling in my gut of being connected to that negativity.”